The study "Participatory Safety Research within Academic Education and Training in Austria" combines empirical results concerning subjective safety with the implementation of these findings into the police training. This implementation takes place by means of the education of senior police officers in the bachelor degree class “Polizeiliche Führung” (police leadership training) of the Applied University of Wiener Neustadt.
As a result not only the comprehensive concept of Safety of the Safety Research Program KIRAS is going to be adapted, but also different measures for advanced education will be an important focus of this project. This study aims on the implementation of the research results over three semesters and two years of courses. On one hand these findings refer to the detailed knowledge about subjective phenomena of insecurity within different demographic groups.
On the other hand these findings should offer concrete options of dealing with specific situations on the selected Hot Spots in Austria. Hot Spots are places on which conflicts between different groups of people did arise.
queraum. kultur- und sozialforschung and the project partners of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Competence Centre for empirical research methods of the University of Economics in Vienna, the Institute for the Sociology of Law and Criminology and also the Applied University of Wiener Neustadt are responsible for the implementation of this study.
The collection of the data is going to take place on seven Hot Spots in Austrian Cities. The thematic focus in this connection is going to be on the interactions between the different user groups, which sometimes come into conflict on these places. To develop concrete scenarios for these Hot Spots the user groups (executive authorities, residents, social workers, tradesmen and so on) are going to be actively involved into the phase of data collection. This approach ensures the genesis of a complex picture of the diverse definitions of one place.
For analysing the collected data the research team is going to choose an ethnographical community-development approach. This specific approach works well for discovering and expressing the different factors which enhance or reduce the subjective (in)security. Furthermore the ethnographic approach offers various options to involve the different user groups actively into the research process and also to perceive them as experts: In the first phase qualitative interviews, participant and non-participant observations, participative inspections of the districts and also ethnographical conversations are planned. In the second, the scenario-based phase, the qualitative vignette analysis is going to be applied. This analysis aims on the subjective feelings of insecurity in connection with a concrete context of one vignette. These findings are going to be the basis for the training material, which will be developed for the police trainings. The content of a vignette describes a concrete local situation, for example the encounter of people who use the public transport with user groups, which are seen as marginalized. These situations are going to be created on base of the previous interviews, observations and conversations and reflect in this way the reality on a specific place, which makes them practice-oriented.
The close co-operation with the Applied University of Wiener Neustadt will have priority during the realization of the project. Due to the involvement of the students of the bachelor degree class “Polizeiliche Führung into the phase of data collecting, the senior police officers receive a practical and scientific education. Furthermore they will be specialists for the topic of subjective security in their field of actions. The implementation of the research findings into the police education is going to take place on the basis of three products at the same time when the data will be collected:
- On the basis of the development of training material for the police education,
- through instructions for implementing the knowledge into the advanced education and also
- through the development of the scenarios for the different Hot Spots.
The innovative character of this study can be found in the commonly scientific realization of this project between social scientists and senior police officers. This participative approach is going to produce findings which are practice-oriented for the daily routine of police work.